The stock market held steady today, as neither a drop in factory orders nor a rise in unemployment claims rattled investors bracing for tomorrow’s crucial jobs report—which could help spur the Fed’s next interest rate move. The Dow was up 6.26 points to 13,974.31, as financial, telecom and health care rose, while technology and energy fell, MarketWatch reports. The Nasdaq climbed 4.14 to 2,733.57 and the S&P gained 3.25 to 1,542.84.
August orders for US-made factory items fell 3.3%, exceeding a predicted 2.6% dip. The market inertia reflected investors' bets that tomorrow’s payroll numbers, expected to show renewed growth in the economy, will be neither be so strong they'll forestall another rate cut or so weak they'll spark new recession panic.